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ABC News(CLEAR CREEK, W.Va.) -- After being trapped in an abandoned West Virginia coal mine for days, a pair of young explorers said they learned the biggest lesson of their lives.

"Everyone who was involved in searching for us, I just wanna thank you, with everything inside of me -- this is the biggest lesson I've ever learned in my life," Cody Beverly, 21, told ABC News on Wednesday. "This is a life-changing experience for me."

Beverly and two friends -- Kayla Williams, 25, Erica Treadway, 31 -- were discovered and rescued from the Rock House Powellton mine in Clear Creek, about 30 miles southeast of Charleston, West Virginia, on Wednesday night. They entered the inactive coal mine around 3 a.m. on Saturday looking for copper, officials said.

"All the effort that everybody put in to get us out, we really appreciate it, and we thank God," Williams told ABC News on Wednesday. "We have great families. We knew they was going to find us."

Beverly and Williams spoke with reporters outside of Charleston General Hospital, where they were taken for an evaluation after being rescued.

All three were released from the hospital early Thursday. Treadway declined to comment.

"I'm just glad to be home with my family, my friends, my brothers, that I see around me right now, my family," Beverly said.

When asked how they managed to survive, Beverly said, "We drank mine water."

"We had no food," he said. "We just found a stream in the mine and started drinking it and hoping and praying to God it wasn't contaminated."

Williams said they "panicked sometimes," but the pair said prayer, determination and God is what got them though.

"We just want to thank God, that's the main person we're thanking," Beverly said. "We stayed together and we prayed to God. ... We pulled together as much as we could."

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andresr/iStock(CLEAR CREEK, W.V.) -- Three people who were trapped in an abandoned coal mine in West Virginia since Saturday have been found, according to the West Virginia Office of Miners’ Health Safety and Training.

After getting all three people out of the mine safely, they were brought to their family and friends. After the reunion they were taken to the hospital to be checked out.

"It's a Christmas blessing, that's all there is to it," West Virginia Governor Jim Justice told reporters.

The first person was found at around 6 p.m. Wednesday, according to a representative from the Office of Miners Health Safety and Training. About 30 minutes later, the other two were rescued about 1,000 ft. away from the first, officials said.

"We go into these events not to recover, we go to rescue," said Eugene White, director for the Office of Miners Health Safety and Training.

White said his concern now is for the rescue team who found the three stuck in the mine. "I'd love to be up there hugging them," he said.

A total of four people were reported missing Saturday after their abandoned ATV was found near the entrance to the Rock House Powelltown coal mine, in Clear Creek, according to West Virginia governor Jim Justice.

The fourth person from the group -- Eddie Williams, 43 -- was able to escape from the mine on Monday evening. Williams told authorities Kayla Williams, 25, Erica Treadway, 31, and Cody Beverly, 21, were still inside, according to a statement from the Raleigh County Sheriff’s Office.

Rescue teams from the Office of Miners' Health and Safety and numerous other state and local agencies had been searching for the missing trio since the weekend.

On Tuesday evening, MHS&T and other authorities were able to enter through the Rock Creek portal of the mine and add large fans to move fresh air, and to install water pumps to help clear the standing water in the cave.

Raleigh County Sheriff’s Office Lt. M.A. McCray told ABC News that the individuals did not enter at the main entrance, but rather used what’s called a “punch out hole” – a small shaft either accidentally punched out of the side of a mountain or created for ventilation.

Officials have said that the group went into the cave in search of copper wire -- a lucrative commodity in a financially-depressed region of the state.

No coal has been extracted from the mine for two years, officials said.

The rescue teams were unable to locate the three people on Monday and expanded their search on Tuesday, progressing more than 4,000 ft. into the mine before locating the missing three on Wednesday evening, officials said.

There is a pending criminal investigation into the group's activities upon entering the mine, officials said.

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richardcalver/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Meteorologists may have discovered what caused a mysterious blip in the weather radar in Illinois and Kentucky earlier this week.

On Monday afternoon, large blips that would usually indicate stormy weather flashed across the radar maps showing southern Illinois and western Kentucky, but there was neither a storm system nor a raindrop in sight, according to the National Weather Service, which described the radar at the time as "interesting."

The NWS later determined that "the leading theory" for the cause of the blip was chaff from an aircraft, which is a stream or cloud of radar-jamming material such as thin aluminum that is often used as a countermeasure during combat.

Wayne Hart, meteorologist for ABC Evansville, Indiana, affiliate WEHT-TV, tweeted that the chaff came from a military C-130 northwest of Evansville, citing an unnamed pilot who was given the information from the Evansville air traffic control.

The two military bases nearest to where the blip occurred denied that the C-130 came from their premises.

Major Martin Meiners, public affairs officer for the 101st Airborne Division for Fort Campbell in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, told ABC News that there are no units at that base that fly C-130s.

A spokesman for Scott Air Force Base in St. Clair County told the Evansville Courier & Press that the plane did not come from that base, either.

A representative for the Air Force did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment.

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FBI Charlotte(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- The man suspected of sexually assaulting and killing 13-year-old Hania Aguilar was connected through DNA to a rape from 2016 -- but investigators never followed up on that DNA evidence, and if they did, that likely would have saved the girl's life, prosecutors said Wednesday.

"This hurts," Robeson County, North Carolina, District Attorney Johnson Britt told reporters. "This is like taking a punch to the gut and not being prepared to get it."

Michael McLellan, 34, is accused of abducting and killing the teen in November. Her disappearance sparked a massive manhunt and her body was found in Robeson County weeks later.

Britt said he met with Hania’s mother and stepfather "to explain to them what had happened to express my regret, and our regret, that this had been missed. And that in all likelihood had this gone forward and we established a case against him at that time, Hania would not have died."

The missed opportunity came in 2016 when a victim's rape kit -- for a case in which there was no suspect -- was sent for analysis, Britt said.

The kit was analyzed in 2017, and Britt said the district attorney's office was told there was a hit from the Combined DNA Index System, known as CODIS, meaning that DNA found from the 2016 victim’s rape kit possibly matched DNA of someone already in the system.

CODIS contains DNA samples of known offenders convicted of felonies. McLellan had been convicted of first-degree burglary in January 2007, a class D felony, according to the North Carolina Department of Corrections' website.

Britt said an email including that information was sent to the sheriff’s office, copying the district attorney's office

At that point, Britt said that information should have given the sheriff's office probable cause to seek a search warrant, obtain a DNA sample from McLellan and compare that sample to the 2016 rape kit.

As Britt held the CODIS report in his hand Wednesday, a reporter asked him if the information on that paper could have saved Hania's life.

"Potentially yes, and probably yes," Britt responded.

Britt said his office and the sheriff’s office are trying to determine how this evidence was overlooked.

Hania was abducted outside her home at the Rosewood Mobile Home in Lumberton on the morning of Nov. 5.

She had taken the keys to her aunt's SUV to start the car when a man dressed in all black with a yellow bandanna over his face forced her in the car and drove away, police said. The stolen SUV was found three days later in Lumberton.

Britt said Wednesday that, through the recovered car, McLellan became a suspect in Hania's kidnapping one week after she vanished, though he was not officially named a suspect until weeks later. By that time McLellan was in custody for a different crime, prosecutors said.

Evidence from Hania's recovered body also linked McLellan to the crime, Britt said.

McLellan is charged with 10 felonies in Hania's case including first-degree murder, first-degree forcible rape, statutory rape, abduction of a child and first-degree kidnapping, the FBI said.

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Santa Ana Police Department(SANTA ANA, Calif.) -- As girls gathered to play softball nearby, a man allegedly built an arsenal inside a shed at a Southern California public park, where he stored a loaded gun, a vest and over a dozen magazines of ammunition, according to police.

The dangerous stash was uncovered after a softball coach called the police Monday night and reported seeing a man forcing his way into the small storage room at Carl Thornton Park, the Santa Ana Police Department said.

The softball coach and softball league president confronted the suspect, later identified as Ruben Perez.

Perez allegedly threatened them, saying he had a "strap," Cpl. Anthony Bertagna of the Santa Ana Police Department told ABC News.

After that threat, "they were smart enough to back away," Bertagna said. "Then their focus became getting the children off the field."

Responding officers searched the shed, which police said Perez, 37, made into a living area.

Inside, police said they found: a stolen and loaded 45-caliber handgun; 18 magazines loaded with a variety of calibers of ammunition, including an extended magazine, which holds 31 rounds; and "a weight vest with the weights removed and replaced with loaded magazines, which had been placed in the weight pockets for easy access."

"Had he elected to get in a confrontation with us or the public, he would've had access to hundreds of rounds," Bertagna said of the suspect. "Everything fell into place where nobody got hurt. We're lucky."

The members of the girls' softball team are about 12 to 14 years old, Bertagna said.

Perez was booked at the Santa Ana Detention Facility on various weapons charges, police said.

He is due to appear in court Wednesday. It was not immediately clear if he had an attorney.

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tzahiV/iStock(NEW YORK) -- A New Jersey judge dismissed a warrant on Wednesday against Jazmine Headley, the mother seen in a viral video having her baby yanked from her arms by police and security guards at a New York social services office.

Headley, 23, appeared at a hearing in Mercer County, New Jersey, Superior Court, and pleaded not guilty to charges of credit card theft stemming from a 2016 arrest.

"Today is a great day for Jazmine, her mom and her little boy," said Headley's attorney, Brian Neary.

Neary said a judge allowed Headley to enter a program for first-time offenders to resolve the old case.

"This is a not guilty plea and after the passages of time, the case will be dismissed and ultimately her criminal record will be expunged," Neary said.

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Woodland Park Police(WOODLAND PARK, Colo.) -- A security video of a young Colorado mother shopping at a grocery store with her baby on Thanksgiving Day was released by police in hopes it will prompt new leads in her mysterious disappearance.

The video released Tuesday night by Woodland Park, Colo., police shows Berreth, 29, entering a Safeway store near her home with her baby in a car seat. Berreth is seen getting a shopping cart before she goes out of the view of the camera.

Police officials said the video was taken at 12:27 p.m. on Nov. 22 and is the last confirmed sighting of Berreth.

While the footage does not show Berreth leaving, police said her fiancé, Patrick Frazee, the father of her child, told investigators he met Berreth later that day to pick up their daughter. Berreth and Frazee do not live together, her relatives said.

Berreth, a flight instructor, hasn't been seen since.

Frazee has yet to publicly comment on Berreth's disappearance.

Frazee's attorney, Jeremy Loew, released a statement to ABC News on Wednesday, saying Frazee had been cooperating with law enforcement. He has voluntarily released his phone to be searched and has provided a DNA sample.

"Mr. Frazee hopes and prays for Ms. Berreth’s return," Loew said. "Mr. Frazee will continue to cooperate with law enforcement and continue to parent the child he shares with Ms. Berreth. He will not speak to the media about this case, as he does not want to impede law enforcement's investigation."

Woodland Park Police Chief Miles De Young told reporters earlier this week that Frazee has been cooperating with investigators in the missing person case and that he is not a suspect.

Berreth was reported missing on Dec. 2 by her mother, Cheryl Berreth.

"This is completely out of character," Cheryl Berreth said at a news conference on Monday. "Kelsey loves her dog, she loves her family and friends and she loves her job."

She said her daughter is "not the kind that runs off."

Further deepening the mystery is a ping from Berreth's cellphone that was detected by police on Nov. 25 near Golding, Idaho, some 700 miles from Woodland Park. But police have found no other evidence of Berreth in Idaho, officials said.

De Young said that on the same day Berreth's cellphone pinged in Idaho, her employer, Doss Aviation, in Pueblo, Colo., received a text message presumably from Berreth stating that she would not be able to work the following week.

Berreth's worried mother said that "someone knows where she's at" and directed a message to Berreth, asking her to return.

"Kelsey, we just want you home," Cheryl Berreth said. "Call us if you can and we won't quit looking."

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stevenfoley/iStock(CLEAR CREEK, W.Va.) -- As crews urgently search for three people believed to be trapped in an abandoned West Virginia mine, their worried loved ones are desperate for their safe rescue.

"I want my daughter out," Randy Williams, the father of trapped woman Kayla Williams, told ABC News.

Authorities believe four people illegally entered the Rock House Powellton mine in Clear Creek around 3 a.m. Saturday, officials said.

One man managed to escape Monday and said the three others -- Kayla Williams, 25, Erica Treadway, 31, and Cody Beverly, 21, -- were alive and still inside, officials said Tuesday.

"The reason they're in there is to get copper," Randy Williams said. "It's worth money. ... A couple years ago it was up to almost $4 a pound. You could go into a mine and make $1,000 a day."

Though the alleged act is illegal, he added, "They're still our kids... I love every one of them."

Kayla Williams' aunt, Teresa Shea, said the group may have panicked or become separated.

Kayla Williams' sister, Camelia Williams, had other concerns.

"It's so dark that you can put your hand in front of your face and not see it," Camelia Williams told ABC News.

"It's been a very slow process," Camelia Williams said. "It's hard to just sit and wait. ... time is ticking."

As the search continues, the concerned father said he thinks the rescuers "need to be moving a little faster."

"We know they got protocol to go by, but we just feel like if it was one of theirs," Randell Williams said, before trailing off, overcome with emotion.

"Hopefully it happens today," he said.

Wednesday's search is focusing on two portals of the mine: eight rescuers heading into the Sand Creek portal and 16 to the Rock Creek portal, Eugene White, director of West Virginia's office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training, said Wednesday.

The Rock Creek portal, where the four individuals entered on Saturday, has oxygen levels measuring 16.1, which White described as “good,” adding, “we hope it stays that way.”

Ed Williams, the man who escaped the mine on Monday, has gone over a map with officials in an effort to pinpoint where the three others may be, White said.

A criminal investigation is pending, the Raleigh County Sheriff’s Office said, though officials stressed that rescue efforts are the priority.

"Our priority is rescuing these individuals and maintaining the safety of our mine rescue teams," West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice said in a statement Tuesday.

"I have ordered the coordination of all resources needed for rescuers to continue to search the mine. We’re doing everything we can to accelerate the rescue."

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ABC News(NEW YORK) -- A new storm is firing up in the West and it will bring stormy weather to most of the country over the next four days.

Already up to 2 feet of snow has been reported in parts of the Northwest while more than 4 inches of rain also fell in the area as the storm system begins to move east. Numerous snow and wind alerts have been issued in the West as the storm moves through.

The storm system will move through the Rockies Wednesday afternoon with more than a foot of snow possible for some areas. Winds could be gusty, as well -- locally more than 80 mph.

On Thursday, the storm system will begin to move into the Plains and the Gulf Coast with heavy rain and thunderstorms.

Some wet snow is possible on the back side of the storm in the Plains, but there will not be a lot of snow east of the Rockies.

The storm system will bring heavy rain into the Southeast on Friday, the same area heavily affected by the latest winter storm. Some flash flooding is also possible.

On Friday night into Saturday morning, the system will begin to send heavy rain up the East Coast into the I-95 corridor from Washington, D.C., into Boston. Some rain could be heavy and minor flash flooding is possible.

As the storm system moves through the eastern U.S., from the Plains into the East Coast, some areas could see more than 4 inches of rain.

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WTVD-TV(DURHAM, N.C.) -- A North Carolina sheriff's deputy was placed on leave after a video emerged of him slamming two teenage girls to the ground.

The Harnett County Sheriff’s Office said it placed the officer on administrative leave on Tuesday, a day after video surfaced on Facebook showing the girls being wrestled to the ground during an arrest, according to Durham ABC affiliate WTVD-TV.

The sheriff’s office did not name the officers involved, but said the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation has been called in to investigate the case.

Police said the incident in Lillington escalated on Monday morning as a pair of Harnett County officers searched a vehicle for drugs after receiving a complaint. The girls were passengers in the vehicle.

Deputies said they found a small amount of marijuana on one of the female passengers, according to WTVD.

The 17-year-old said she began recording because the officer tried to arrest her 14-year-old sister for filming the encounter. It is legal to film police officers in North Carolina, as long as it's a public space and you are not interfering with police work.

"Yo! What are you doing right now, she didn't do anything," the older teen is heard saying in the video as an officer grabbed her sister by the neck and wrestled her to the ground. "Why are you doing that? What did she do?"

The deputy then turned to elder sister, knocking her cellphone from her hand and tackling her to the ground as well.

Neither girl ended up being taken into custody.

"I'm disgusted," the 17-year-old told WTVD. "After each of us were patted down, we both started recording and asking why [my boyfriend] was being detained."

She said she strained her back during the police encounter and is "in pain right now."

"I understand that they ... felt like they were doing their job, but there's a different way it could have been approached," she said.

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dkfielding/iStock(WASHINGTON) -- In an emergency application to the Supreme Court Tuesday evening, the Trump administration has asked the justices to intervene to allow immediate enforcement of President Donald Trump's ban on asylum for immigrants who illegally cross the southern border.

Last week, a federal appeals court declined to lift an injunction blocking the administration from enforcing Trump's order as a legal challenge makes its way through the courts.

"The nationwide injunction, in this case, is particularly unwarranted because it virtually guarantees that the harms the rule addresses will continue to occur during litigation," writes Solicitor General Noel Francisco.

"At a minimum, this Court should narrow the injunction to cover only specific aliens respondents identify as actual clients in the United States who would otherwise be subject to the rule," he says.

Shortly after the president signed the executive order last month, a federal district court judge in San Francisco declared that it "irreconcilably conflicts" with the "expressed intent of Congress" in federal law, putting it on hold.

The lawsuit was brought by immigrant advocates and legal groups who argue that federal law specifies clearly that any immigrants to the U.S. are eligible to apply for asylum -- regardless of how they entered the country.

"The United States has experienced a surge in the number of aliens who enter the country unlawfully from Mexico and, if apprehended, claim asylum and remain in the country while the claim is adjudicated, with little prospect of actually being granted that discretionary relief," Francisco tells the high court.

"These measures are designed to channel asylum seekers to ports of entry, where their claims can be processed in an orderly manner; deter unlawful and dangerous border crossings, and reduce the backlog of meritless asylum claims," the administration's emergency appeal says. "The measures will also assist the President in sensitive and ongoing diplomatic negotiations with Mexico and the Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras."

Trump has asserted his broad authority to protect national security -- and specifically to confront an alleged threat from migrant caravans along the southern border -- as a rationale for suspending the right to request asylum anywhere.

The Supreme Court will consider the administration's request; there is no firm timeline on when the justices might make a decision to grant or deny.

Justice Elena Kagan has given the legal groups challenging Trump's ban until Monday, Dec. 17, to present their response to the administration's emergency application.

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KABC-TV(LOS ANGELES) -- California State University, Northridge said it will be administering final exams off campus, beginning Wednesday, after receiving a second mass-shooting threat in less than a week.

University officials told professors to offer online or off-campus alternatives for finals after a student discovered a handwritten letter on Monday warning of a campus shooting.

"While law enforcement does not believe there is an imminent threat to campus, I recognize the extreme stress and anxiety the recent threats of violence have caused our community," Cal State, Northridge President Dianne Harrison said in a statement on Tuesday. "CSUN Police and partner law enforcement agencies continue to investigate the threats and maintain their increased patrols across campus."

Professors also will offer alternative exam options Dec. 12-18 for "students who are not comfortable coming to campus," according to the statement.

"Students should contact their instructors to request alternative arrangements," Harrison said. "Any student requesting such an accommodation will not be subject to any instructor-imposed penalty."

The Northridge campus will remain open, however, and employees with concerns were encouraged contact their supervisors, according to the statement.

Less than a week ago, the first threat, a racist message scrawled on a bathroom wall, also warned of a mass shooting on the first day of finals.

"Hate has no place on this campus, and we are working to bring any perpetrators of these cowardly acts to justice," Harrison said. "We are resolute in our duty to not allow these threats to derail our students’ education."

Officials didn't say whether the incidents were connected.

Denise King, a freshman at Northridge, told ABC Los Angeles station KABC-TV that the incidents had the campus on edge.

"Every threat should be credible and taken into consideration and investigated," she said, "and anything that can be done to stop it should be done, even if it's not real."

"I can't believe this is still continuing. They haven't found the source of where it's coming from," another student, Preston Steinberg, added. "I just hope they find who it is."

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Balch Springs Police Department(DALLAS) -- Three police officers played heroes in Texas on Monday when they came upon an apartment engulfed in flames and a family stuck on the second floor.

Officers David Fields and Corey Jones from the Balch Springs Police Department were two of the first people on the scene and immediately realized a mother and her son were stuck in their apartment. With the officers unable to get to the apartment by going up the stairs, they retreated to the ground and moved under the window where the two were trapped.

"I was scared to death because you know what fire does and how fast it moves," Fields told Dallas ABC affiliate WFAA-TV.

One officer asked the two to move back before he tossed his baton through the second-floor window.

"Jump! We got you, buddy, we got you," the officer can be heard imploring the child in the video.

The child jumped from the second floor into the three officers' hands with a thud.

You can immediately hear him say, "I want my mom."

After wrapping the child in a blanket and moving him to safety, firefighters arrived and managed to get a ladder to bring his mother down from the second-floor window.

Both were uninjured, though in the video you can hear Jones ask, "How's your leg?" The child said he was OK, and Jones responded, "Hey, that was a good jump, man. That was a good jump."

"It's what I believe any officer in this department would do," Jones told WFAA. "Not wait for Fire, not wait for anyone else. We're going to do what we can to help anyone that we can."

An investigation into what caused the fire is still ongoing. Balch Springs is a small suburb just southeast of Dallas.

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ABC/Randy Holmes(LOS ANGELES) -- A federal judge in California ordered adult film actress Stormy Daniels to pay President Donald Trump just under $300,000 in legal fees on Tuesday after her defamation suit against the president was thrown out in October.

The judge’s ruling marks the latest legal setback for Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, and her attorney, Michael Avenatti.

Earlier this year Daniels filed a defamation lawsuit against the president in New York, claiming Trump acted with "actual malice" and "reckless disregard for the truth" when he posted a tweet mocking her claim that she was threatened by an unknown man to keep silent about her alleged 2006 sexual encounter with Trump. The case was later transferred to federal court in California.

Trump has denied the sexual encounter ever took place.

In October, U.S. District Judge S. James Otero dismissed Daniels’ suit and characterized Trump’s tweet as "'rhetorical hyperbole' normally associated with politics and public discourse in the United States."

On Tuesday, Otero ordered Daniels to pay $292,052.33 in “attorneys' fees and costs.” Lawyers for Trump initially sought $389,000 in fees plus an equal amount in sanctions.

“The court’s order, along with the court’s prior order dismissing Stormy Daniels’ defamation case against the President, together constitute a total victory for the President, and a total defeat for Stormy Daniels in this case,” an attorney for Trump, Charles Harder, wrote Tuesday afternoon.

Avenatti sought to downplay Judge Otero’s ruling on Tuesday in a series of tweets: “Trump and his attorney's attempt to fool the public about the importance of the attorneys' fees in the defamation case, which are a fraction of what they owe my client in the main NDA case, is an absolute joke. People are smarter than that.”

Avenatti has already filed to appeal Otero’s October dismissal of Daniels’ case to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, but it is not clear if he will seek to appeal the legal fees awarded to Trump on Tuesday.

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anouchka/iStock(SEATTLE) -- A string of attacks on houses of worship used by Jehovah's Witnesses in Washington state are under investigation.

There have been four instances of arson and one shooting -- spanning nine months and four locations -- that investigators believe are connected to one another.

"As these incidents were located in close proximity to each other, it is believed that they are related," said Jason Chudy, the public information officer for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' Seattle division.

"ATF is working closely with multiple local law enforcement agencies in these ongoing investigations," Chudy said.

Chudy said that the investigation is ongoing and they are not publicly discussing "any suspects, if any, that we've identified."

March 19: Two arson attacks

Two different houses of worship, referred to as Kingdom Halls, were targeted on the same day.

The two houses of worship, one in Tumwater, the other three miles away in Olympia, were set on fire.

"Damage to both was minor, limited to the exterior structures," Chudy said.

Tumwater Fire Chief Scott LaVielle said that the Tumwater building sustained about $15,000 worth of damage, according to ABC affiliate KOMO-TV.

May 15: Shooting

A little under two months later, another house of worship was attacked in the town of Yelm.

In this case, a suspect or suspects fired 35 rifle rounds at the Kingdom Hall.

Chudy said the shooting caused more than $10,000 in damage.

July 3: Arson

The fourth attack revisited one of the earlier targets, as the Kingdom Hall on Cain Road in the town of Olympia was lit on fire once again.

This attack "completely destroyed" the building, Chudy said.

On July 18, Thurston County Sheriff John Snaza said that the four attacks up to this point are considered hate crimes, according to KOMO-TV.

Dec. 7: Arson

After a five-month break, another attack was reported at the Kingdom Hall in the town of Lacey, closer to the first two targets. The building was "completely destroyed."

Snaza expressed frustration at the series of attacks.

"Why is this specific religion being targeted? Why are these churches being targeted? What are they doing that is so wrong and oppressive?" Snaza said, according to ABC affiliate KOMO-TV.

"It makes you feel really ill about somebody who has some sort of animosity towards any religion, yet alone a Jehovah's Witness of Kingdom Hall," Snaza said, according to KOMO. "So how frustrating is it that people who find a solemn place of worship, and now it's being destroyed?"

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WJTN News Headlines for Dec. 12, 2018

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